24/7 healthcare, free meals in Metro Manila quarantine centers

Three major facilities in Metro Manila will operate as COVID-19 quarantine centers starting this week, with patients having access to 24/7 healthcare and free meals, among others.

The Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the Rizal Memorial Complex, the Philippine International Convention Center, and the World Trade Center will all have air-conditioned cubicles with plug-in outlets, free food for patients and the medical staff, free internet connection, and round-the-clock medical assistance.

“In these facilities, there will be 24/7 medical care given by the medical professionals…For the Ninoy Aquino [stadium], the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Corps will be taking care of our patients.

There’s going to be free food for all our patients and our staff—the nurses and the doctors,” said BCDA President and CEO and Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Vince Dizon in a television interview.

“The idea is really twofold: we need these quarantine centers because we want to be able to move Covid-positive patients from their communities into facilities such as this.

This was also done in other countries as well, but even equally important is we have to help our hospitals decongest, and allow more hospital beds to be used by more severe patients with Covid-19,” Dizon added.

Architect Dan Lichauco, an expert in hospital design, said that there will be tent-like structures which will serve as the nurses’ stations in the facilities, and a nurse call system will be implemented.

Lichuaco was the architect for the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), Medical City hospitals, and the UP-PGH Polyclinic in New Clark City.

“We’re following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines issued in March 2020 and this has become the bible for most of our design work. What we tried to do, is make sure that it’s as comfortable for the patients as possible,” Lichauco said.

The 112-bed Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Complex in Manila will start accepting Covid-positive patients with mild symptoms and those who are asymptomatic starting Wednesday, April 8, as announced by the Department of Health.

Prime BMD and Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc. of the Razon Group fast-tracked the completion of the Ninoy Aquino Stadium quarantine facility in just five days.

The PICC meanwhile will have 294 beds while the World Trade Center will have 502 beds. “That’s the kind of scale we’re building right now and this is really just the beginning because we have to build more,” Dizon said.

He also added that the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan is being eyed as a “mega quarantine facility” to accommodate more patients. Other facilities outside Manila are also expected to be completed in the coming weeks, including the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga and the National Government Administrative Center in New Clark City.

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